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First Look at the Gold iPhone 14 Max

It’s September again, and Apple just released its new line of iPhones. This time, I chose a gold colorway when picking the new iPhone 14 Pro Max.

This year’s big news is that Apple did away with the notch that came with the past few iPhones and introduced the Dynamic Island. It’s essentially a fancy way for Apple to hide the sensors at the top of the screen — but it does add some cool functionality.

There are some hardware and quality-of-life improvements, like a new A16 chip and slightly increased battery life — but the Island is what Apple is showing off the most with the 14 Pro models.

At first glance, the 14 looks almost the same as the iPhone 13 Pro Max, at least from the rear. But the camera bumps are a little larger, so you won’t be able to use the same phone case if you’re coming from an iPhone 13 Pro. That is disappointing since the leather Apple Cases run about $60.

The SIM card tray is also missing on the 14, at least for iPhones sold in the U.S. That’s because Apple now requires an eSIM.

My first impression of the Dynamic Island is that it’s impressive. It’s a definite improvement over the “notch” and looks clean and minimalistic. 

One thing about the Island is that it changes depending on your task. So, for example, if I set a timer, it expands to show more information — and it’s just nice how the Island integrates with the overall user experience.

Pressing on the Island in specific ways also causes it to act differently. For another example, with the timer, I can quickly push it to open the Timer app or long press it to open a menu without leaving the home screen. 

Another new thing with these iPhone 14 Pro models is the always-on display, which I was excited about when it was announced. Instead of the screen going black when the phone goes to sleep, it dims, so you can still check out information with just a glance. 

Though I like this feature, I think it will take way more getting used to than the Dynamic Island because it feels weird to have the screen on and can be somewhat distracting. But you can turn this feature off by going into Settings. 

Check out my full review in the video above.